Seattle database tracks superbugs, helps hospitals find best drugs to fight them

A group called the Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring, Analysis & Diagnostics Alliance (ARMADA) says it wants to combat antibiotic resistance by building a database that tracks and "fingerprints" bacterial strains. ARMADA comprises physicians and scientists in Seattle who launched their nonprofit organization in September.

A group called the Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring, Analysis & Diagnostics Alliance (ARMADA) says it wants to combat antibiotic resistance by building a database that tracks and "fingerprints" bacterial strains. ARMADA comprises physicians and scientists in Seattle who launched their nonprofit organization in September. Organization founder Evgeni Sokurenko, MD, PhD, observes: "How a patient will react to an infection will be tracked in their medical records, but nothing is being tracked about the bug, even though the bug will repeat itself, and no one will know what it has done in other patients." The group will collect data on how antibiotic-resistant bacteria react to multiple antibiotics. By furnishing this data to hospitals and microbiology labs, health practitioners would be immediately able to find the most effective drug for patients. The group has already gathered data for 30,000 strains and hopes to increase this number significantly in the next few years. The project receives funding from NIH and partners with Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle-based Harborview Medical Center, and Oakland, CA-based Kaiser Permanente.